iOS 15.2 brings new Apple Music and privacy features to your iPhone.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Apple released iOS 15.2 in December, bringing with it a slew of updates and new features. This is the first major update to Apple’s iPhone software since iOS 15.1 in October, which brought features such as FaceTime SharePlay and Support for ProRes to the iPhone. The latest update brings features like Macro Control to the iPhone 13 and a new Apple Music level for all iPhone users. Here’s what we’ve gleaned so far.

Is iOS 15.2 already released?

Yes, Apple released the iOS 15.2 update on December 13.

How to download iOS 15.2?

To download the latest update, go to Settings> General> Software Update and select Download and install. Restart your iPhone after the download is complete to start the installation, and once your phone has restarted, you will be on the latest version of iOS.

Application privacy report

The biggest new feature in iOS 15.2 is the app privacy report. This report is intended to help users control who has access to their data. If you’ve ever looked at your weekly screen time reports, the app privacy report is organized the same way, but instead of telling you how much time you’ve spent in different apps, the report shows you how much time you spent in different apps. data and sensors each application can access, network activity for these applications and other privacy-related data.

The latest beta release also changed the wording for the iCloud Private Relay setting. The option is now listed under Cellular and Wi-Fi settings as Limit tracking of IP addresses. This is not a functional change, but the new wording should clarify what you can choose.

Apple Music voice plan

A surprise addition to iOS 15.2 is Apple Music Voice Plan, a new level of subscription for Apple Music. The Voice Plan level cuts the subscription price in half – up to $ 5 (£ 5, AU $ 6) per month – but it can only be controlled by talking to Siri, not manually via the Apple Music application. Spatial audio and lyrics functionality will not be available, but you will have access to the full Apple Music catalog.

A new feature, called Play it Again, lets you see what you’ve recently played so you don’t go Google for the chorus of a song you just heard because you don’t know the name of the song.

Apple Music Playlist Search

If you already own Apple Music, iOS 15.2 now lets you search for a song in a playlist. It’s a little hard to find at first – you have to go to a playlist and swipe down from the top of your screen to bring up the search bar above your playlist image.

Communication security setting

After delaying the controversial messages setting, Apple released it as part of iOS 15.2. This Messages setting allows parents to turn on warnings for children when they receive or send pictures that contain nudity. The disclaimers also show resources to children when they receive these photos. While the intent behind the feature has received strong support, privacy experts believe the the costs of Apple’s methods outweigh the benefits.

Macro control for photos

People with an iPhone 13 Pro or Max can now use the ultra-wide lens of these models to take close-up photos and videos in 15.2. To activate it, go to Settings, then Camera, and in this menu there is a toggle marked Macro Control. When enabled, you should see a flower icon on your screen when taking a photo. Tap the flower icon when you are close to an object to switch to Macro mode.

More details in Apple Maps

Apple Maps will now show route details such as bike lanes, turn lanes, medians, and crosswalks in supported cities.

Find My Feature Updates

The current iOS also brings an update to Apple’s Find My feature. The change, reported by MacRumors, allows you to use the Find My app to search for “items that may follow me”, identifying nearby items, such as AirTag, which can send location data. You can then choose to turn off the tracking feature on all found devices.

The update has sparked some controversy as it takes the Find My feature in two conflicting directions. The update appears to be designed to help people gain more control over their privacy by preventing unwanted devices from tracking them. However, it also seems to undermine the function of AirTags by potentially giving thieves the ability to turn off any AirTag tracking on stolen items.

Read more: Apple launches AirTags and Find My detector application for Android, in an effort to strengthen privacy

History of parts and services

The update also allows you to view the repair history on your iPhone by going to Settings> General> About> Parts and service history. The new section will detail any maintenance performed at Apple as well as whether the parts were from Apple or an unknown supplier. However, if you have not had your iPhone repaired, the feature will not show.

Other new features in iOS 15.2

The second version of the beta version of iOS 15.2 added the ability to designate legacy contacts as part of Apple’s Digital Legacy Program. Designating someone as a legacy contact gives them access to your iCloud account and personal information after your death.

ICloud Plus subscribers can also use Apple’s Hide My Email feature from within the Mail app itself, instead of bouncing. The full list of updates is available on Apple’s developer site.


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